Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The plot thickens

The plan today was to weld more chain links to pieces of steel in order to make barrel hangers. Well, that was the intention. That's not quite how things worked out though.
Cutting the steel had been done days if not weeks ago. Thus today the chain was cut then a while later the welding started. That was when all the problems began. Both the link and the steel plate were clean, bright, shiny bare steel. One link welded on perfectly. The next looked perfect but when hit with a hammer, fell right off leaving barely a mark on the steel. The next did exactly the same thing which was really frustrating. Then another stuck but every time the link was hit with a hammer, the link bent. Clearly some unwanted softening had occurred.

By the time all the problems occurred, the poor light of the day was fading. Thus a search of the internet for "weld won't stick" was attempted. That yielded nothing but bad advice from forums. Nothing really practical or sensible - forums can be discounted immediately as talking groups by people that don't know what they're doing,

It was then that I had an idea. I still have a lot of hillbilly angle iron. If it was cut into approximately 2.75 inch lengths with two mounting holes drilled on each end of one flat and a single hole drilled to attach a chain connector then it would be possible to complete the task with no welding. That would speed things up tremendously. The angle is made of pretty thick 1/8 inch steel. I wish I'd thought of doing this before. Given a modicum of daylight, the steel can be cut quickly and the holes drilled equally quickly. It's not a nice, neat solution like welding but it is something that can be quickly fabricated on the road should I need to, using just hand tools.

I must say that I'm getting a bit fed up of the slow progress. Given a good day of progress, there is no reason why using the new technique, both existing barrels couldn't be rehung in a day or two. Where I will carry on with welding is for the battery mount for the ventilation fan battery. That is best mounted under the bus. Other items that need welding will probably be my security bars.

One of the things that might be negatively affecting my welding is my stupidly dark helmet. It is so dark I can't see the work unless the sun is bright. It's not possible though to change the lens. I have what I have and I'm not going to throw more money into welding equipment I'm not likely to be using much longer. When the bus is done, I won't need to weld any more.

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